When Will Beatty was drafted by the Giants, one of his big measuring sticks was always Osi Umenyiora. He would go against the veteran defensive end in practice to see how he was progressing, and eventually he got to the point where he was able to square off with Osi and make both of them better.
Justin Pugh doesn’t seem to have that kind of veteran barometer. At least not yet. For now, the Giants don’t want him stargazing when he’s on the field.
“Coach Flaherty is real big on having a faceless opponent and just going out there and doing what you have to do, knowing what your job is and making sure you get that done,” Pugh said today. “Obviously when you go against some of the guys like Tuck and Kiwanuka, those guys who are running with the ones right now, it’s a little bit of a heightened (experience). But you want to go out there and try to have an even keel and be as consistent as possible.”
So Pugh doesn’t even know who he’s going against in practice?
“I try not to,” he said.
So far he hasn’t had much time against the starters. He’s been playing with the second unit and in team drills going against Adrian Tracy and Damontre Moore and others of that ilk. Eventually, though, most expect that Pugh will get his turn to go against the big boys in practice. And probably eventually in games.
“Our right tackle is David Diehl with Justin Pugh working at right tackle and that’s where we’re starting out here in training camp and we’ll continue to progress that way,” offensive line coach Pat Flaherty said. “It’ll work its way out whichever way it’s going to work. Both of them are getting the same number of reps. We have a lot of confidence in David Diehl as well as Justin Pugh (that he) will get there as he continues to work.”